Strength in Numbers; Educational Alliance Announced at Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers National Conference Will Improve Prospects for Youth and U.S. Economy Too

Jan 12, 2007, 00:00 ET from Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers

    DENVER, Jan. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Three U.S. organizations intent on
 improving opportunities for Hispanic students have joined in a partnership
 to streamline efforts toward advancing science, technology, engineering and
 math (STEM) education.
     The Hispanic Alliance for STEM Opportunities marks collaboration
 between the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), the Hispanic
 Engineer National Achievement Awards Conference (HENAAC) and IBM. Officials
 with the two nonprofit groups and IBM announced their alliance during
 SHPE's annual National Technical and Career Conference Jan. 10-13 in
     To launch the alliance, IBM has provided a $150,000 grant to help fund
 a series of STEM-focused summer camps for Hispanic youth. The alliance is
 considering opening the first camps this June in California and Texas.
     The new alliance will enhance members' shared efforts to inspire young
 people toward STEM careers, said Diana Gomez, president of SHPE's national
 board of directors.
     "Through this alliance we now can work more closely together to inspire
 young people and get them thinking of how their interest in math and
 science can become a lifelong passion," Gomez said. "I know all of us with
 the Alliance share this excitement about these amazing fields and we want
 to pass it on."
     Now is the best time for the alliance, said Adalio Sanchez, General
 Manager, Technology Collaboration Solutions, Systems and Technology Group,
 and IBM-SHPE Strategic Alliance Advisory Board chairperson. "The statistics
 have been against Hispanic youth for quite some time," Sanchez said.
     "Only 64 percent of Hispanics graduate from high school, compared with
 91 percent of white students and 84 percent of black students," Sanchez
 said. "This relationship intends to turn the tide and address how we
 develop the skills of the fastest growing population and increase the
 technology employment pipeline. Through our alliance, we will use the
 single vision SHPE, IBM and HENAAC have regarding how education really is
 the unifying factor toward shaping the next generation of Hispanic
     Ray Mellado, chair of HENAAC, said the collaboration with IBM and SHPE
 provides a unique opportunity for Hispanic students and the United States
 as a whole. "By working together, our three organizations will be able to
 open more doors to attainable career pathways for future STEM
 professionals. With additional entities joining this alliance, we can
 significantly increase the contributions of the Hispanic community to our
 U.S. technical workforce," Mellado said.

SOURCE Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers